Archive: April, 2014
The following article was originally posted on Politifact here.
Recently Andy Brown’s claim in a mailer stopped us short: “Travis County now has the highest urban county tax rate in Texas.”
Brown, an Austin lawyer running for Travis County judge, aired his statement under an arrow suggesting county tax bills steadily escalated while his Democratic primary opponent, Sarah Eckhardt, served on the Travis County Commissioners Court.
By email, Brown’s campaign manager, Jim Wick, told us the campaign compared the 2012 total tax rate for Travis County with the rate in other counties that are home to the state’s five largest cities. Wick included a chart indicating that in this subset, the Travis County rate of $0.5001 per $100 property valuation exceeded the rates in Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and El Paso counties. El Paso County, Brown’s chart indicates, had the next-highest rate, $0.40887 per $100 valuation.
The history of property taxes dates back at least as far as ancient Egypt. Thousands of years later, property taxes were enacted in Texas in order to support the new republic. The property tax system that Texans know today is vastly different from what it was even a few decades ago. The modern Texas Property Tax Code is full of complex details, most of which have little bearing on the average homeowner. However, there are a few key details that every property owner should know.
The Travis Central Appraisal District will be sending out Notices of Appraised Value in mid to late April. This notice contains important information worthy of review. Perhaps most significant is the property’s appraised value for 2014. This figure is the appraisal district’s opinion of property value as of January 1, 2014.